Roulette has held a special fascination for gamblers of all ages for several centuries. One of the most interesting things about the game is that here in the United States, players are usually confronted with a wheel that has a zero and a double zero. In Europe, where the game first began and held the spot as the favorite gambling game for generations, the wheel only has a single zero, giving the house just a 2.7 percent edge.
Besides learning the basics of roulette, there are a multitude of systems that are often purported to give the player the edge over the game. Nothing could be further from the truth.
During the 1800's, the casinos of Europe, especially those in Monte Carlo and Germany, catered to the upper crust of society who strode the grounds in splendid evening wear. The casinos and the players were glamorous and affluent. They played with finesse and style, and nobody had more style than Joseph Jagger, who broke the bank at Monte Carlo by finding a bias in the wheel.Finding a Roulette System
You don't really have to show any finesse to play roulette in the US, but it helps if you treat your bankroll with a little respect. Roulette systems have been devised, broken-down, massaged, and miscalculated for years. The way to enjoy roulette is to choose a system you are comfortable with and have fun at the table, not with whether you win or lose. This is good, since a zero and double zero wheel has a house edge of 5.26 percent.
A famous old gambling system is the Martingale. With this system, a player chooses an even-money bet (pays 1 to 1) such as red/black, odd/even, or 1st 18/2nd 18, and makes a wager. If the wager wins, they make a wager for the same amount on another even-money bet. If it loses, they double their wager - doing so on subsequent spins of the wheel until they win, hit the table maximum, or lose their bankroll.
If that sounds fun, give it a try. You'll probably win several times before a streak of numbers hits and wipes you out. This is not a system any true gambler would suggest for anything other than a lark.
If you are looking for a system that is likely to give you fits, but also provides some fun and excitement while producing some winners, you might consider the Labouchere. You can look like a fine system player as you work your way through a series of bets ranging from 1 to 7 (starting with a bet of 7) and crossing off the high and low number on a winning even-money bet, and adding a new higher number on a loss.
This is a fun system that you can use with a starting table bankroll of $100. You can expect several small loses before being successful and crossing off all number and cashing in.Don't Bet Against Yourself
Show that you are a polished player by toking the dealer on occasion. You can tell the dealer that a chip wagered on any spot if for them. If it wins, they collect. Having bets on the numbers is fun for dealers because a hit pays so well, especially if it is a straight-up bet at 35-1.
You can also show how sophisticated you are by not betting against yourself. Don't bet on both sides of a proposition, such as odd and even at the same time. You'll just breakeven most of the time - except when green comes up, then you'll lose both bets. That probably sounds obvious, but many players like to bet on two bets such as 1-12 as well as 2nd 18. You're covering most of the table but the odds are working against you. You, are working against you. Make sure your bets can both win, such as 1-2 and the second column. It's harder to hit both, but at least it can be done.Consider Conservatism
Gambling often brings out the worst in our emotions, and our senses. Players like instant gratification, so betting on several numbers is common. However, some players just can't wait to hit a winner and they make too many bets on numbers. Betting three or four numbers makes sense, betting twenty numbers at a time does not. Remember that the house edge is always the same, so you are taking a hit on every wager you make. Bet 20 numbers and you get whacked 20 times.
Another way of look at the multiple bet situation is to consider that on a table where you have $1 chips, in the long-run, every time you bet a chip it cost you a nickle (actually 5.4 cents, but why quibble). If you bet on 20 numbers, it costs you $1.08 per spin. And, since there are plenty of numbers you didn't cover, your chance of losing quickly is much higher.
The Europeans had it figured out long ago. Roulette is meant to be played at a leisurely pace. Give yourself a chance to enjoy it.